Ketamine Chaos

Urine Drug Test,  Employee Drug Testing, Saliva Drug TestWhat exactly is Ketamine and how might it affect your employees? How does it work and what are its constituent ingredients, and how does it affect the mental and physical health of your employees? CMM Technology answers these questions in this latest article on this disturbing drug.

Ketamine is not a natural substance. It is a man-made and synthesised drug that that was first used legally in medical and veterinary settings. Its main functions were as an anaesthetic and also as an analgesic pain-killer. It is a prescription drug and possession without prescription is illegal.[1]

Street names include Special K, kitkat, vitamin k, super k and Dorothy.

Illicit use

Both powdered and liquid forms of the drug are available on the streets. Powdered forms can be inhaled, taken by mouth or injected once mixed with water. It can also be smoked. Like most drugs the most rapid and strongest mode of absorption is intravenously or through intramuscular injection. The intramuscular taking of the drug is most popular with heavy users, as this mode bypasses the liver and associated problems that may occur long-term.[2] The term k-hole refers to the peak Ketamine experience when the drug’s effect reaches its most powerful. Here, the body is virtually paralysed and there is a strong disconnection from self and from the physical realm.

How it works

This drug obstructs the nerve pathways whilst still allowing circulatory functioning and also breathing. It has a strange mix of both depressive and stimulant attributes and when it is used at very high doses it actually increases heart rate and blood pressure.

Short term and long term effects

The drug is primarily used to achieve a high. Short term effects include an increased heart rate, respiratory depression, euphoria, an increase in energy and a sense of spirituality, calm and even serenity. The mind feels as if it is dissociated from the body and there can also be significant changes in time-perceptions. Confusion and disorientation as well as nausea can also occur.[3]

Long term effects include headaches and flashbacking, loss of smell, personality and mood changes, depression and memory and concentration impairment. Other cognitive attributes can be disrupted when the drug is used frequently over time.[4]

While Ketamine is essentially a dance party drug and a recreational illicit drug, not commonly found in the workplace, the concern is that its short and long term impacts may disrupt your employees’ work patterns, procedures and performance. Make sure you educate your employees on the short and long term risks to health and monitor your employees with testing devices and approaches that can help to ensure your fitness for duty policy.

CMM Technology can assist with quality devices and cutting edge technologies to suit all organisations. Please call to speak with staff who can assist you with your enquiries. Telephone CMM Technology +618 1300 79 70 30.


[1] http://www.betweenthelines.net.au/drug-facts/ketamine-basics

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketamine

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketamine

[4] http://druginfo.adf.org.au/drug-facts/ketamine#effects

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If Your Investor Advisor is ‘High’

Chain Of Custody, Pre Screening,Screening Tests, Workplace Drug TestingA New Look at Why Drug and Alcohol Testing at the Workplace Should be Mandatory

What would you say if I told you that the investment advisor you spoke to this morning was sky high on Marijuana? Investment advisors are amongst the most vulnerable to alcohol and drug addiction. Little wonder then that they are classified as amongst the largest drug and alcohol abusers across all countries. Despite this, there is virtually no drug and alcohol testing in the investment-banking sector. This is puzzling. Normally, I would have expected that the company owners would have been concerned and would have enforced drug and alcohol testing at the workplace1.

Some months back, when the recession was still in full swing, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that said investment bankers and investment advisors had shifted from large-scale cocaine use to large scale Marijuana use. Why would legislatures, business owners and law enforcement agencies need more coaxing? What is the delay in cracking down on alcohol and drug abuse at the work place?2

Shift from Cocaine to Marijuana

The shift from cocaine to Marijuana is not surprising. When I was studying economics for my master’s degree, I had reason to study how economic changes in a country or even locality changed both the quality and quantity of alcohol and drug consumption. Essentially, the quantum of money in the pocket and the environment at work and home dictates the behaviour and choices of the individual. The economic recession meant lower bonuses and so the shift in choice is understandable. However, (and contrary to expectation), reduced money has not made them given up on alcohol, drugs or other vices. The recession would have been a good time to enforce drug and alcohol testing at the workplace of the investment and banking industry. Perhaps it was an opportunity that was missed3.

The very thought that my investment advisor might be high on something while talking to me made my head reel. Now that I think about it, I am not surprised. Often times the views expressed by my investment advisor sounded dubious to say the least. The pressure to out-perform and make money is so high that these folks seem to need ‘fortification’. Soon, the body is so addicted to the drug that without fortification they cannot perform at all. Yet, financial bankers were the first to refuse drug and alcohol testing at the workplace4.

Perhaps drug and alcohol testing at the workplace is required not just to protect co-workers who might not have the addiction. Drug and alcohol testing at the workplace may need to be introduced so that clients too are protected from bad, poor qualityservice. Perhaps if drug and alcohol testing in the banking and finance industry were in place, the recession itself might not have happened!

It is common knowledge that an alcohol or drug addled brain could hardly be thinking straight. Perhaps it is high time we take action and demand that Drug and Alcohol Testing at the Workplace be made mandatory5.

Quality testing devices are available from CMM Technology +618 1300 79 70 30.

Footnotes and references:

1. Drug and alcohol abuse at the workplace: http://www.investingblog.org/archives/753/recessions-ugly-side-effects-drug-alcohol-use-abuse/

2. Wall street journal article on drug abuse: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304259304576373731829124842.html

3. Wall Street shifts from Cocaine to pot: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2010/08/20/wall-street-drug-use-employees-giving-up-cocaine-for-pot-and-pills/

4. Work pressure on investment bankers: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/career_and_jobs/graduate_management/article1293575.ece

5. Drug and Alcohol Testing at the Workplace be made mandatory: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/prb0751-e.htm

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Heady Mixture – Alcohol and Pot

Workplace Drug Test, Chain Of Custody, Pre ScreeningCMM Technology brings you the personal views and account of a heavy industries employee who is also a recovering alcoholic.*

I vividly remember the words of one of my friends who worked at a drug rehab centre at Melbourne. He had said “As someone who has worked at rehab centres, I think I would be accurate in saying that the chances of an employee mixing alcohol and pot at the workplace is pretty much remote unless the employee is working alone”1.

I remembered his words as I was reading a newspaper the other day because there was a report about some bloke in Hong Kong, who was working as a crane operator. Seems he crashed a large container onto a truck and a few minutes later, he came crashing down the crane control box and fell to his death. The truck and the container were badly damaged. The news report went on to say that autopsy revealed that the man had a heady mixture of alcohol and drugs (identified as Marijuana) in his blood. Clearly, crane operators are one group of people who need to have drug and alcohol testing before they are allowed to begin work2.

If a person has a few nips (or more) of alcohol and then smokes pot i.e. Marijuana, the motor skills are usually completely shot down the drain. The person’s face would definitely indicate the state of his intoxication. In fact, I doubt very much whether the person would even be in a position to sit straight in a chair much less work. This however does not mean that drug and alcohol testing at the workplace is not required3.

I have had friends tell me that they know others who take a few nips of alcohol and then smoke a cigarette containing a very tiny quantity of weed. They do so, on the job. And at one time in my life, I did the same! Having so fortified themselves, they are ready for the challenges of the day. The mixture of small quantity of alcohol and drugs in this case (and depending on the individual metabolism), is not sufficient to prevent the person from ‘working’.

Whether such a person could deliver the kind of quality that was intended of him, or is able to do adequate justice to the work allotted to him is open to question. MY view and my personal experience is that this is not possible.

There is absolutely doubt that sizeable numbers of people do consume alcohol at work. There also seems to be little doubt that small portions of these do also smoke pot after they have had a small peg or two of alcohol. Both these categories do injustice to their jobs, their careers and ultimately, the client. Drug and alcohol testing at the workplace should therefore be made mandatory. The workplace is no place for either alcohol or drugs4.

There are people who do not consume alcohol but love to smoke pot just before they enter the office. Psychologists say that this group of people probably do not like either their job or the environment they work in. Smoking weed is their way of helping dull the pain of having to work in the place. Employees who have been demoted or passed over for promotion or harbour some anger at the workplace but do not wish to leave the job because of the pay and other considerations, are most likely to fall victim to the pleasures of smoking pot.

Drug and alcohol testing is not meant to weed out and dismiss such staff. Drug and alcohol testing is meant to identify and help such staff kick the habit and return to being productive members of the organisation5. It worked with me. And it put me on the real road to recovery. Better for the workplace, better for me, better for my family.

Contact CMM Technology for more information about quality testing devices of all kinds. Telephone 618 9204 2500

Footnotes and references:

1. First-hand account at mixing alcohol and drugs: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060722134555AAf3ii5

2. Data of Marijuana and its effects:  http://www.acde.org/common/Marijana.htm

3. Substance abuse at the workplace is quite widespread: http://workplace.samhsa.gov/WPWorkit/pdf/why_you_should_care_about_having_a_drug_free_workplace_fs.pdf

4. Effects of alcohol, drugs and tobacco: http://www.rosicrucian.com/zineen/pamen002.htm

5. Statistics on substance abuse at the workplace: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/asp/drugfree/benefits.htm (U.S.)

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Harm Reduction

Employee Drug Testing, Saliva Drug Test, BreathalyserHarm reduction as a therapeutic approach and goal was popularised in the 1990’s. Prior to this, the standard approaches to AOD issues were detoxification, abstinence and maintenance programmes such as methadone which afforded substance users the opportunity to regain some minor stability and possibly even enter the workforce. The Australian Institute of Criminology points to a number of harm reduction strategies which in turn can, in some instances, be applied as a component of Employee Assistance Programmes where the goal of abstinence is still some way off.[1]

But the issue of harm reduction is somewhat difficult when applied to the workplace. In industry areas where there is legislative ruling against drug and alcohol usage, the implementation of a harm reduction strategy will invariably require a time-out or time-off approach away from the workplace. But even in industry or areas where drug and alcohol usage is not entirely legislated against, employers should still proceed with caution when confronted by an employee who wishes to initiate harm reduction strategies as part of his workplace treatment approach.

Harm Reduction Strategies in Australia

The Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy acknowledges “there are a number of challenges in any attempt to apply prevention and/or harm reduction approaches.”[2] It also outlines key principles that can be adopted in harm reduction cases:

  • Make the strategy comprehensive
  • Consider full range of social (or workplace) influences on use
  • Make sure strategy is clearly targeted for the individual employee
  • Must be culturally sensitive
  • Must be developmentally appropriate
  • Must have clear objectives and guidelines
  • Must be evaluated for both positive and negative affects[3]

The substance abuser and manipulation

One of the factors complicating the use of harm reduction approaches in the workplace is the manipulation that is part and parcel of the alcohol and other drug abuser’s modus operandi. According to Psychiatry and Wellness website, “the first casualty of addiction is the truth….Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process.”[4] This means that your workplace dealings with the substance abuser may get difficult, cloudy, unclear and frustrating. And the need for stringent measures may be more appropriate than the soft touch harm reduction approach. The latter may be appropriate for social or family settings, but may be grossly inadequate in the workplace where profit, employee relations, issues of liability and safety must take precedence.

CMM Technology fosters a non-punitive yet stringent approach to AOD issues in the workplace. It maintains that quality testing in tandem with other strategies can best safeguard the employer, employees, profits and workplace structures from the threat of substance abuse.  CMM Technology offers a range of excellent testing technologies that can help you fight the battle against drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

For more information on quality testing devices, please telephone one of the CMM Technology team on +618 1300 79 70 30.


[1] http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_types/drugs_alcohol/illicit_drugs/harm_reduction.aspx

[2] http://www.health.gov.au/

[3] http://www.health.gov.au/

[4] http://www.bma-wellness.com/papers/Addiction_Lies_Rel.html

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Guard your organization against worst case scenarios

Drug Testing, Workplace Drug Testing, Urine Drug TestYou can safeguard your business against the threat of drug using employees. And while these employees who use substances are often unidentifiable unless one is trained in AOD issues, there are a number of approaches your workplace can adopt to help you combat associated issues that are part and parcel of employing a drug user in your organization or on your site.

Drug Testing

Drug testing can be used as one of the most effective methods to stop drug using in the workplace. Many organizations in the US and in Europe now advertise their drug testing policies and procedures and this has helped to deter potential employees with substance abuse issues from applying for employment at these organizations. According to Elizabeth Hartney “drug testing offers an objective and generally accurate way to establish the truth of someone’s drug use.”[1]

Globalchange.com website also states that on current trends, “…drug testing at work is probably the single most effective weapon we have against adult substance abuse. It is a proven low cost strategy which identifies those needing help, reduces demand, cuts accident and sick leave, improves attendance and increases productivity.”[2]

In fact, US studies have revealed that substance abusers – which includes those using alcohol – are up to 33% less efficient and productive and are over twice as likely to be late, “four times as likely to hurt others or themselves at work, five times more likely to sue for compensation and ten times more likely to miss work.”[3] The website also noted that “when the state of Ohio introduced random drug testing, they found absenteeism dropped 91%, there were 88% less reported problems with supervisors and a 97% decrease in on the job injuries.”[4] The results were so overwhelmingly favourable that many organisations in Ohio are now screening applicants for jobs before they are even employed.

Worst case scenarios

While the issues outlined in Ohio may seem mild, when compiled and viewed statistically, they lead to a severe erosion of your profits and your productivity. Just one drug dependant or drug-addled employee can do considerable harm, and worst case scenarios can even result in theft, assault, grievous bodily harm and police intervention in the workplace. Extreme cases of worst case drug employee scenarios can do long-term damage to your brand, your corporate image and your community standing and reputation. Western Australia’s Department of Commerce states that violence in the workplace can indeed be linked in with “someone under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.”[5] And there is no doubt testing may certainly help to offset or prevent drug related violence and outbursts in the workplace.

CMM Technology supports the use of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace and believes it has the capacity to significantly reduce OH&S related issues and problems. A programme that utilises quality testing technologies is important for your business and can help with your profit margins and your sense of workplace safety and security.

For more information, do not hesitate to call the CMM Technology staff on +618 1300 79 70 30.


[1] http://addictions.about.com/od/dailylifewithaddiction/i/drugtesting_2.htm

[2] http://globalchange.com/drugtest.htm

[3] Ibid

[4] ibid

[5] http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/content/Safety_Topics/Bullying/Violence_in_the_workplace.html

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Faking it

Alcohol Test, Alcohol Testing, Drug test Kits, Drug TestIn 2007 NBC News in the United States ran a major story on the American trucking industry. And the findings were both alarming and shocking. Transport and safety must operate symbiotically to ensure the wider community is safe from the perils of avoidable accidents that may in part be due to illegal or inappropriate alcohol or substance abuses. We all know substances and alcohol have the capacity to cause severe accident, and when coupled with the sheer size, velocity and power of a trucking or long haul vehicle, the community is placed at severe risk.

The story was communicated nationally in America and made much of the fact that various undercover investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) used both fake truckers’ licenses that gave them entry into various testing sites. 75% of the bathroom testing sites did not restrict access to various items that could potentially be involved in adulterating tests. Running water, soaps, air fresheners and even other substances were available during the testing. All these substances can be used to disrupt and compromise urine samples.[1]

Here in Australia, adulteration of testing can also occur. While the same kind of mock scenarios have not been performed, there is evidence across all industries, that adulteration of tests and using fake urine and other substances may be part and parcel of avoiding detection.

A simple and comprehensive Google search will alert individuals to the plethora of available techniques and adulterants for avoiding detection. And businesses need to be aware of this strategy and instigate measures that try to combat it.

Here are some helpful ways your business can address drug faking and drug cheating:

  • Make sure bathroom or cubicle testing area is clean and clear
  • Make sure testing area is free from air freshener, bleach, disinfectants and any other cleaning products
  • Make sure there is no soap in cubicle area

In some instances, workers and employees have been known to use “fake urine” to avoid the drug test. In April 2011, it was reported that “fake urine that can pass as the real deal in a drug test is helping WA construction and mining industry workers hide their recreational drug use.”[2]

One such brand that is proving popular amongst industries where drug testing is advised or legislated for is “Quick Fix.”[3] While some of the fake urines are detectable in the testing process, if pH levels are matched and there is creatinine in the fake urine, then these may pass through undetected.

It is important that management and organisations pay careful attention to the ways employees may try to adulterate or fake their drug tests. CMM Technology can advise you on the most effective and up to date screening devices and technologies and can help you develop a screening approach that suits your needs. Specialist staff are happy to talk with you about your prospective drug testing requirements. Telephone CMM Technology on 618 1300 79 70 30


[1] http://lifeontheroad.com/2007/11/02/drugs-on-the-road/386.html

[2] http://news.ninemsn.com.au

[3] ibid

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Skin Disease and Drug Addiction

alcohol testing australia,clinical medical marketingWhen eliminating debris or toxins, the human body naturally moves everything outward, toward the skin and away from the vital organs. With this in mind, one can see how liver or heart disease is much more dangerous than skin cancer. The overall movement of the particles in the tissue indicates that skin-related diseases are much more easily curable than vital-organ-related diseases. This is also why you may see a bump under your skin for one or two days and then it is gone, having been eliminated in the bathroom. This is simply a particle which was moved outward and then removed from the body altogether.

Skin cancer, melanoma, acne, cysts, boils, rashes, and other skin problems are usually indicative of what lies below, even if that is not the same problem. When you are embarrassed or agitated, your skin blushes. When you are cold, your skin turns white or blue. When you are hot, your skin sweats to cool you off. If your liver is backed up or dysfunctional, your skin turns yellow. Think of your skin as a meter or gauge and it gives you different indications of the activity below it. It is very difficult to have a health problem and for your skin to not show what it is. Often, though, individuals choose to ignore their gauges and treat the surface without treating the cause underneath.

Alcoholism presents itself in the skin through bloated, swollen redness, a permanent flush, usually accompanied by pimples or whiteheads, to indicate how often the drink is enjoyed. Over time, the skin of a cigarette smoker becomes loose, dry, sallow and aged in appearance. Various drugs take their toll in different forms, sometimes by whitening the skin and removing all natural fat from underneath it, and sometimes by forming discolored patches on the skin.

When any type of skin disease is accompanied by drug or alcohol abuse, the skin has a hard time concealing the array of problems occurring underneath, and it frequently indicates this through a variety of features, from boils to cysts, and from growths to open wounds. If the skin is unhealthy, you can bet that the individual is just as sick.

Part of presenting a quality business is by employing people who are attractive and healthy in appearance. Keep your employees healthy looking and feeling with regular drug and alcohol testing equipment from CMM Technology. Contact us today: +618-9204-2500.

References

Gallant, Joel E.. 100 questions & answers about HIV and AIDS . Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009. Print.

Jemec, G. B. E., Lajos Kemény, and Donald Miech. Non-surgical treatment of keratinocyte skin cancer . Berlin: Springer, 2010. Print.

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The binge drinking employee

drug free workplace, workplace drug testYou may have a binge drinking employee in your workplace and they may not present like the “typical” heavy or alcoholic drinker. Binge drinking is somewhat different from solid, heavy or longstanding drinking behaviours. And for this reason, it may be difficult to spot or identify in the workplace. However, the impact on other employees, and the binge-drinker’s inability to remain consistent with responsibilities and workplace duties and attendance, may lead to team problems and organisational difficulties for management who have to repeatedly address and deal with the associated behaviours.

Definition

Binge drinking or episodic drinking is defined as “drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks. It is also commonly referred to in Australia as drinking to get drunk, or getting wasted, getting wiped or getting smashed.”[1]

In Australia, binge drinking has even been viewed as socially acceptable by male teens and young adult men, and traditionally has been tied in with male social bonding and enculturation.

But when this crosses over into the workplace or occurs sporadically yet repeatedly in an episodic manner over time by an employee, the impact to your organisation can be real and frustrating.

Some of the short term effects of binge drinking include

  • Hangovers
  • Nausea
  • Shakiness
  • Committing and memory loss
  • Injury to yourself
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Absenteeism
  • Disorganisation
  • Irresponsibility
  • Violence
  • Workplace problems[2]

The Australian Drug Foundation states that the National Drug Strategy Survey found that over 10% of Australians 14 years and over drink dangerously.[3] Translated to the workplace, this may correlate to nearly 10% of the employee workforce, and because binge drinking is largely socially acceptable, the issue may well be far more severe than we realise. Alcohol abuse is so severe in Australia it costs us $36 billion per year.

In March 2008, the government of Australia launched a new campaign focusing on binge drinking, titled the “National Binge Drinking Strategy,” which supplied over $53 million to address the problem among the younger section of the population.[4] The program was largely aimed at developing community resources and advertising campaigns to address the problem.

You too can develop workplace strategies to fight the effects of binge drinking. Some approached that may be of use include:

  • Onsite breathalyser testing for employees
  • Employee Assistance Programs that assist problem drinkers in your workplace
  • Information about responsible drinking habits
  • Clearly outlined AOD procedures and policies
  • A non-punitive approach that seeks to help rather than hinder a binge-drinking employee

You can help to protect your workplace from the effects of binge-drinking employees. Develop a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing program and you can reap the rewards, knowing your workplace is safer and more secure and less severely impacted by AOD issues. For more information on high quality screening products please telephone CMM Technology’s specialist staff on 618 9204 2500.


[1] http://au.reachout.com/fin/articles/binge-drinking

[2] http://au.reachout.com/find/articles/binge-drinking

[3] http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/fact-sheets/the-facts-about-binge-drinking-web-fact-sheet

[4] http://www.health.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/cli

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Top Two Qualities of New Employees

lion SD 500,alert J5 personal breathalyser,lion alcoblowUnless you are presenting job bids to executive staff members who have a killer reputation, even new employees can be question marks when it comes to fitting in with your business. Between gender differences, new coworker interactions, initial mistakes on the job, personal sensitivities, and nervousness, both you and the new employee may feel as if you are navigating a mine field of potentially awkward situations. It is important to make them feel safe and wanted by outlining all company policies for them (including, of course, your drug and alcohol testing policy) and telling them a little bit about every person on your staff. Is there anything you can specifically do to help them along?

Engage Their Interest in the Work

Aside from the money, your new employee is obviously interested in the business itself. One of the best ways to make them feel comfortable and produce high quality results is to get their minds off of the money and onto the subject at hand. Ask them their opinion about the work which the company performs, their ideas about ways the company can stay modern and up-to-date, and where they would like to see themselves in five years and in ten years. This makes their workplace relevant to their personal passions and interests and engages them to invest in the company, rather than simply considering it another job. This personal investment in the business is what makes or breaks the operation.

Give Them Creative License…and a Lot of It.

It is important that your new employee understands that, though there are company boundaries and policies with regard to ethics and behavior, their creative intuition should be exploited to its fullest potential. The reason that most employees do not live up to this potential is fear. Fear drives many people to do irrational things and make irrational mistakes. It is important that you dissect their decisions and ideas into two parts: productive and not feasible. For example, your new employee may have an idea for keeping the company website up-to-date and attractive. You should carefully explain that a strong, healthy, well-updated blog is perfect, the new designs are a great idea, but that the contact information must not be hidden, but put in plain sight for ease of navigation. Explain why: the website is not an operation in and of itself, where customers can buy your products online. It is a means to an end; it advertises the services of the company, services which must be bought over the phone or in person.

CMM Technology provides a basic business need: drug and alcohol testing equipment for your workplace. Contact us today: +618-9204-2500.

References

Allegretti, Joseph G.. Loving your job, finding your passion: work and the spiritual life. New York: Paulist Press, 2000. Print.

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When a Vehicle is an Office

breathalyser recalibration service, breathalyser calibrationYou work in an office. You arrive neatly dressed, and hopefully behave with decorum and respectability. You keep your office relatively clean and clear, and your work environment reflects professionalism, assuredness, strength and clarity. And yes, certainly…you make time for a bit of fun and some light-hearted humour…that is good for business too. There’s a good balance happening. Your office gives an impression. And let’s hope it reflects professionalism, friendliness, consistency and an air of getting the job done safely, soundly and without chaos or unreliability.

And it simply cannot offer an air of alcohol or drug usage and acceptance.

Most company directors and boards would wish this scenario of their management strata employees. But what if you work in transport? And what if the “office” is actually a vehicle? It might be a train or a bus, operating either publicly or privately. It may be a truck, owned and operated as part of a corporate fleet or sub-contracted by an independent owner/operator. In each of these cases one needs to ask whether management has a right to offer guidelines on how this particular office looks and what actually occurs in it:

  • Is it clean?
  • Does it adhere to OHS health and safety standards?
  • How does that “office” inhabitant treat the environment?
  • Is it messy? Is it dirty?
  • And is there any evidence of safety breaches by way of drug or alcohol usage?

According to the Independent Transport Safety Regulator, ITSR of NSW the regulations for rail safety, include the following state laws:

  • Rail safety Act 2008
  • Transport Administration Act 1988
  • Passenger Transport Act 1990
  • Transport Legislation Amendment (Waterfall Rail Inquiry Recommendations) Act 2005. [1]

The main purpose of these is to make sure transport workers and of course, transport drivers adhere to a legislative framework of safety and standards and substance-free behaviour.

Drugs and alcohol continue to be a concern in all transport industry areas. A vehicle is in fact an office, and similar standards should and must apply to vehicle drivers. This means that professionalism, presentation, brand reputation and safety needs to primary. There is simply no room for error because of the potential for the office to transform into a destructive weapon once alcohol or drugs are added to the mix.

The British Rail Network’s Human Factor Good Practice Guide considers the need to be vigilant about human factor error and to help develop a workplace “office” environment that seeks to

  • Identify adverse effects on human performance
  • Potential errors
  • Solution to minimize any impacts.[2]

CMM Technology understands that error and standards due to drug and alcohol usage are a part of the transport industry. The office workplace – which in this case is the vehicle – requires vigilance, standards, professionalism and monitoring. Management have a legal right to request and ensure this, so that safety for employees and the general public is maintained. You can ensure safety by sourcing reputable and high quality testing devices for your drug and alcohol programme.

Use the best available testing products on the market. These are supplied by CMM Technology. For more advice or to place orders telephone 08 9204 2500


[1] http://www.transportregulator.nsw.gov.au/safety-improvement/hf

[2] http://www.rssb.co.uk/EXPERTISE/HF/Pages/WHATISHUMANFACTORS.aspx

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What is a Dry Drunk?

drug testing equipment suppliers,drug and alcohol test pricesA “dry drunk” is someone who does not necessarily drink alcohol, but who exhibits typical alcoholic behavior. In every sense of the word, they are a full-blown alcoholic. They simply do not need to consume alcohol in order to behave in an irrational, drunken manner. Typically, these people are classified under a psychotic category, since they have enough self control to not actually partake of the substance, but their mind is clearly looking for an outlet for their sociopathic behavior.

Dry alcoholics usually develop their erratic behavior over a period of a decade or more, starting in their child or teen years. Their sociopathic tendencies are seeking an outlet and, little by little, they form groups or circles of friends who are immune to any discrepancies in their social behavior. Over the years, they test out what they can “get away with” socially by allowing more and more of their sociopathic tendencies to leak out and by watching everyone else very carefully in order to gauge their reactions. If something is considered too strong or inappropriate, they gloss over it or act as if the accuser is being unreasonable, and they do not exhibit this behavior for a while.

In other words, a dry drunk is someone who attempts to make everyone else, specifically their circle of friends and acquaintances, unaware of and eventually immune to their psychotic behavior.

Once their closest circle of friends is essentially unaware of how irresponsibly they are behaving, the dry alcoholic can then engage in typical drunken, unreasonable and violent actions without being called into question for these outlets. It is a sickness and not a sickness where you can taper off your use of the drug. The drug resides within your mind and it is very potent.

If your employees are exhibiting erratic behavior but are testing clean on drug and alcohol screenings, they may be compromising your business. You may feel uneasy or distrustful of them and may not realize why. This is a circumstance where it is helpful to learn about typical alcoholic behavior and determine whether they are a dry drunk. There are a few things to keep in mind: dry drunks cannot be trusted with knowledge of company information once they are fired. They are vindictive and will stop at very little to get even. Also, they will probably spend a great deal of time slandering your name and the name of your business, so be prepared for that, as well.

Contact CMM Technology today for quality drug and alcohol screening equipment: +618-9204-2500.

References

Solberg, Richard W. The dry drunk syndrome. Rev. ed. Center, City, MN: Hazelden, 1983. Print.

Flaherty, J. A., H. T. McGuire, and Robert L. Gatski. The psychodynamics of the “dry drunk,” New York: American Journal of Psychiatry, 1955. Print.

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Sleeping with the Enemy

saliva drug test, oraline saliva, AlcotechCMM Technology offers you reliable, cost effective and advanced screening technologies for all types of industries and businesses. Your business needs to stay abreast of current information on drug and alcohol use and workplace testing. It also needs to be aware of other drugs that may be legal but also have the capacity to disrupt your workplace and cause hazard, risk or even injury to your employees.

Sedatives, commonly known as sleeping pills are one such drug group to be aware of. CMM Technology offers you this profile on sleeping pills to help you continue to wage the war against drug use in your workplace.

Hypnotics (Sleeping Pills)

These are soporific drugs – a class of psychoactive substances with a primary function to induce sleep. They treat restlessness, sleeplessness, insomnia and also stress and anxiety. Because doctors prescribe them they are viewed as legal drugs.[1]

These drugs may be habit forming and addictive, and are not safe in the workplace, particularly in heavy industries such as mining, aviation, transport, engineering and maritime and defence. Examples of sleeping pills include benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazapenes.

Benzodiazepines are the most common and often prescribed sleeping pill group in Australia and include such brand names as serepax, valium and rohypnol.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has listed guidelines for these drugs. If you are an employer, make sure you are aware of this advice and educate your employees as part of your AOD policies and procedures.

The guidelines include:

  • Education on risk of dependence with long-term use
  • When prescribed benzodiazepines the lowest dose should be used.[2]

Other hypnotic/soporific groups include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Opioids
  • Antihistamines
  • Melatonin agonists

Make sure your employees are well versed about the effects of these particular groups of drugs and also make sure the effects of these drugs on work tasks is publicised at your site or workplace. When you effectively disseminate information about drugs and their risks, you can also safeguard your business against the possibility of litigation, should accident or injury occur.

One of the main problems associated with sleeping pills is the resistance that occurs after a few weeks of continual use. This may also mean your employee who is prescribed sleeping pills may increase his/or her dose to gain the same effect as initially occurred when first prescribed.

The Australian Sleep Association suggests a number of “alternative top sleeping tips” that can replace the need for sleeping pills. Be sure to incorporate these into any EAP where an employee is struggling with sleeping, stress, insomnia and sleeping pill use which has also impacted his work tasks and work safety.

The suggestions are:

  • Ensure regular sleep patterns – go to bed at the same time and aim for 8 hours
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Limit your alcohol intake (its diuretic effect can have you getting up to go to the toilet throughout the night
  • Resist daytime naps
  • Manage your stress
  • Avoid sleeping pills – they do not deal with cause of insomnia
  • Make sleep area dark and comfortable
  • Seek professional help.[3]

CMM Technology supports organisations and businesses to develop sound drug and alcohol procedures and policies as part of their OHS and Employee Assistance Programmes. CMM Technology understands the need to safeguard against drugs and alcohol in the workplace. For more information on their quality testing devices please telephone  618 9204 2500.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnotic

[2] http://www.racgp.org.au/guidelines/benzodiazapines

[3] http://www.sleepaus.on.net/

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